Tuesday 15 September 2020

What is ailurophilia?

Ailurophilia is the love of cats. A person who loves cats is an ailurophile. Authors are predisposed to being ailurophiles. Many famous people have loved and love cats. Many celebrated figures were and are dedicated to felines. I myself am an ailurophile. However, I like all animals more or less equally. It has to be equally otherwise I would be criticised for speciesism.

Portrait of Shelley, by Alfred Clint (1829). 
Source: Wikipedia.

I can't produce a complete list of famous ailurophiles so I'll select some authors initially. Here they are:

Kingsley Amis, Emily Brontë, Lord Byron, Raymond Chandler, John Cocteau, Colette, Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, Ernest Hemingway, and Frank, Aldous Huxley, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, HG Wells.

Here are 10 poets who were or are ailurophiles:

Matthew Arnold, Cecil Day-Lewis, William Butler Yeats, William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley, John Keats and TS Eliot.

Here are half a dozen artists who were or are ailurophiles:

Edward Lear, Leonardo da Vinci, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.

Here are some heads of state and cultural leaders who were or are ailurophiles:

US Pres Jimmy Carter, King Charles I, Sir Winston Churchill, US Pres Bill Clinton, US Pres Calvin Coolidge, King Edward VII, US Pres Gerald Ford, Pope Gregory I, US Pres John F. Kennedy, US Pres Abraham Lincoln, US president Ronald Reagan, US Pres Theodore Roosevelt and Prime Minister Harold Wilson and lastly Queen Victoria.

Here's are some composers and musicians who were or are ailurophiles:

Alexander Borodin, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Chopin, Ravel.

A philosopher who was a cat lover: Jeremy Bentham.

Some scientists who were ailurophiles:

Erasmus Darwin, Albert Einstein, Thomas Huxley and Isaac Newton.

Humanitarians who were ailurophiles:

Florence Nightingale and Albert Schweitzer.

Sportsmen and women who are ailurophiles: Frank Bruno, Sally Gunnell and O.J. Simpson.

Stage and screen stars who were or are ailurophiles:

Fred Astaire, Tallulah Bankhead, Bridget Bardot, Kim Basinger, Warren Beatty, Doris Day, Melanie Griffith, Charles Lawton, Janet Leigh, James Mason, Robert De Niro, Beryl Reid, Edward G Robinson, Elizabeth Taylor and Franco Zeffirelli.

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